14

The diamond in the name of the Community ♦ user is confusing new (and some not-so-new) users, making them think that it's a real ♦ mod or some kind of shared mod account:

"thanks, I have been starting to think that whoever drives Community diamond is nuts. Thinking back, it has always been preceded by an edit by someone. Makes sense now."

The suggestion, though seemingly made in jest, to strip the Community user of its diamond has received 17 upvotes as of this writing:

"I say SNATCH away the Diamond symbol from this Community bot. It is spoiling the name of our dear (Diamond) moderators :P"

I think it's time to do this. Let's strip Community ♦ of its diamond!


OK, so how should we designate the special status of the Community user instead? My preferred suggestion would be to color the Community username gray (and maybe italicize it) whenever it appears in the interface, to make it clear that it's not a real user. This could be done as easily as by adding a single CSS rule:

a[href="/users/-1/community"] { color: gray; font-style: italic; }

which would make it look something like this:

UI mockup of Community user name in gray and italics

(It might be a good idea to keep this from applying to links inside post or comment content, which could be done with a couple more rules.)

That said, just as a fallback in case the CSS fails to work in some cases (or just because Unicode symbols are fun!), another non-mutually-exclusive option would be to replace Community's diamond with some other symbol more indicative of its non-human nature. Some possible choices might include:

  • U+2699: ⚙ — the gear symbolizes Community's robot nature (note: Unicode 4.1 character, browser/font support unfortunately limited)
  • U+2662: ♢ — like the mod diamond, but obviously different
  • U+2665: ♥ — another riff on the mod diamond, with 100% more love and kindness :)
  • U+2205: ∅ — because Community is not really a user, the mathematical symbol for "nothing" would seem fitting
  • U+262D: ☭ — because "community" and "communism" are pretty close, don't you think? :P

Feel free to suggest more possibilities. :)

See also:

9
  • 17
    It's pretty easy for anyone to figure out who the Community user is just by visiting its profile and reading the bio... Oh wait... No one ever reads...
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 30, 2013 at 19:09
  • 3
    @animuson: And how often do you click on random users' profile links to see if they're actually real people or not? Dec 30, 2013 at 19:23
  • 8
    Well, I'm a moderator, so I look at user profiles a lot...
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 30, 2013 at 19:24
  • 7
    I'm not a mod and I look at user profiles all the time.
    – ɥʇǝS
    Dec 30, 2013 at 19:24
  • 3
    Me too. I find it natural to ask "who is this?" when someone does something odd or unexpected. Isn't it logical to look at the profile by clacking the name?
    – JMCF125
    Dec 30, 2013 at 19:58
  • 1
    Would it be.inappropriate to try to mark this as a duplicate of a question asking about removing a moderator from their position? ;) Dec 31, 2013 at 5:52
  • 2
    I like this proposal. Maybe also drop the reputation listing from Community's user card, since it doesn't gain reputation.
    – Jeremy
    Jan 8, 2014 at 2:24
  • The suggestion about communism is funny, but I wouldn't go for it seriously. I think that the white diamond would be very good though - it shows that Community does some things that moderators do, but isn't actually a real moderator. Mar 14, 2017 at 12:15
  • 1
    Marking this as status-completed because of the changes following Please use the new Mod/Staff label tech to identify Community as a bot.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Nov 30, 2021 at 11:38

3 Answers 3

32

Now that there are "mod" and "staff" labels, the Community user's "mod" label could be changed to a "bot" label, possibly in a different color. Here is a suggestion:

enter image description here

The diamond could also be removed, but if it says "bot" it shouldn't be too confusing even if it's not removed.

As it is now, the Community user has a "mod" label just like human moderators, which could be confusing to new users. As explained in the question, new users were confused even back when it was just a diamond with no text, and I don't see how explicitly putting "mod" next to the Community user's name would make that better.

I realize it says in the Community user's profile that it's a bot, but people don't always read profiles.

For now the "mod" and "staff" labels only exist on Meta, but according to this comment the "mod" label might be added to the main sites in the future. The Community user's label could either be changed if and when that happens, or before on Meta.

3
  • I think having both the diamond and the word "Bot" (instead of "Mod") is a sweet spot. It will make everyone happy, I believe. Veterans get to see the familiar diamond and new users get a clear short description of what that user represents. Aug 16, 2021 at 13:51
  • 2
    I, on the other hand, would remove the diamond. Staff don't get the diamond, so bots shouldn't too. Aug 16, 2021 at 14:01
  • 2
    Additionally, since text will be used anyway, it would be great if we can have ♦Mod, ♦Staff and ♦Bot (a maximum of one badge per user). This is great for consistency (Currently, it's ♦Mod and ♦Mod Staff). Aug 16, 2021 at 14:02
21

If the diamond was taken away, then people could impersonate it to a degree. Of course, if it's replaced by something else it isn't a problem.

The user needs a diamond because it does carry out diamond actions.

It's already clear that the user is a bot from the profile. Most of the confused MSO questions are about why the bot behaves as it does, with no confusion between it being a bot or a user.

It seems fine the way it is, to me.

10
  • 1
    The gray text would also be as hard to impersonate as the diamond (in fact, probably harder). And many of the comments to those questions do evidence confusion; note that e.g. this question did not include "bot" in its title before it was edited after comments. Also, we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg; most users who mistake Community for a mod aren't going to post to meta about it. Dec 30, 2013 at 19:15
  • 1
    @IlmariKaronen In most situations I don't see considerable harm in someone thinking that "Community" is a person though.
    – Servy
    Dec 30, 2013 at 19:17
  • 3
    @Servy: The potential harm is in the fact that, rightly or not, people interpret the diamond as a badge of authority, and may feel reluctant to e.g. revert actions made "Community ♦". To quote one example: "Yoiks. And I've not been going back and editing the posts thinking they must be sacrosanct because Community diamond OK'd them. This should change, surely.." Dec 30, 2013 at 19:21
  • @IlmariKaronen I don't see that as a common viewpoint. Also, having people not realize that community is a mod is likely to result in more confusion elsewhere.
    – Servy
    Dec 30, 2013 at 19:23
  • @Servy: An alternative symbol (or the gray-out I suggested) would make it pretty clear that it's not a normal user, either. Dec 30, 2013 at 19:24
  • 2
    @IlmariKaronen I disagree. That's a pretty subtle distinction that can easily be overlooked, especially for someone with unusual monitor settings, poorer eyesight, colorblindness, etc.
    – Servy
    Dec 30, 2013 at 19:26
  • @Servy: I added a UI mockup with the username grayed out and italicized to the question above. Do you really think it would be "easily overlooked"? Dec 30, 2013 at 19:42
  • @IlmariKaronen yes, I most certainly do.
    – Servy
    Dec 30, 2013 at 19:44
  • 1
    "The user needs a diamond because it does carry out diamond actions." Perfectly, exactly correct. Dec 30, 2013 at 20:56
  • I vote for transparent diamond ♢U+2662 for Community bot so that it's different from real person mods. Jun 5, 2017 at 5:45
12

As animuson said, those who are confused can simply click on the Community user's profile link, and they'll see the helpful description:

enter image description here

And Community does moderator-y things, so I don't see why the diamond should be taken away.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .